Paris Cleaners Drop-Off Booth
The legacy of Paris Cleaners can be traced to 1902 in Kalamazoo. First
located on O’Neill Street, Paris was one of the few early dry cleaners
that lasted, with several satellite shops around the community. Dating to
1954, the South Westnedge branch of Paris Cleaners is a little gem in
Kalamazoo. It was patterend after magazine clippings of California
drive-throughs sent to its longtime proprietors, the Bell family, by a
previous owner. Rumor has it that it was the first drive-through dry
cleaner in the Midwest by only two days.
1524 South Westnedge, Kalamazoo
The drop-off booth’s color has an interesting tale behind it. The Bell
family, who owned Paris Cleaners in the 1950s, could not afford to paint
their old delivery truck when the drop-off booth was opened. All they
could manage was a primer coat, which just happened to be bright purple.
Associates and clients all responded well, and it hasn’t changed since.
Neon lights, brick glass windows, triangular shape and rounded corners
place the Paris Cleaners Drop-Off at the tail end of the Art Deco movement.